Proverbs 20 – New International Version (NIV)

  1. Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise.
  2. A king’s wrath strikes terror like the roar of a lion; those who anger him forfeit their lives.
  3. It is to one’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel.
  4. Sluggards do not plow in season; so at harvest time they look but find nothing.
  5. The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out.
  6. Many claim to have unfailing love, but a faithful person who can find?
  7. The righteous lead blameless lives; blessed are their children after them.
  8. When a king sits on his throne to judge, he winnows out all evil with his eyes.
  9. Who can say, “I have kept my heart pure; I am clean and without sin”?
  10. Differing weights and differing measures— the Lord detests them both.
  11. Even small children are known by their actions, so is their conduct really pure and upright?
  12. Ears that hear and eyes that see— the Lord has made them both.
  13. Do not love sleep or you will grow poor; stay awake and you will have food to spare.
  14. “It’s no good, it’s no good!” says the buyer— then goes off and boasts about the purchase.
  15. Gold there is, and rubies in abundance, but lips that speak knowledge are a rare jewel.
  16. Take the garment of one who puts up security for a stranger; hold it in pledge if it is done for an outsider.
  17. Food gained by fraud tastes sweet, but one ends up with a mouth full of gravel.
  18. Plans are established by seeking advice; so if you wage war, obtain guidance.
  19. A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid anyone who talks too much.
  20. If someone curses their father or mother, their lamp will be snuffed out in pitch darkness.
  21. An inheritance claimed too soon will not be blessed at the end.
  22. Do not say, “I’ll pay you back for this wrong!” Wait for the Lord, and he will avenge you.
  23. The Lord detests differing weights, and dishonest scales do not please him.
  24. A person’s steps are directed by the Lord. How then can anyone understand their own way?
  25. It is a trap to dedicate something rashly and only later to consider one’s vows.
  26. A wise king winnows out the wicked; he drives the threshing wheel over them.
  27. The human spirit is[a] the lamp of the Lord that sheds light on one’s inmost being.
  28. Love and faithfulness keep a king safe; through love his throne is made secure.
  29. The glory of young men is their strength, gray hair the splendor of the old.
  30. Blows and wounds scrub away evil, and beatings purge the inmost being.


a. Proverbs 20:27 Or A person’s words are

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Proverbs 20 – King James Version (KJV)

  1. Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: And whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.
  2. The fear of a king is as the roaring of a lion: Whoso provoketh him to anger sinneth against his own soul.
  3. It is an honour for a man to cease from strife: But every fool will be meddling.
  4. The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; Therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing.
  5. Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water; But a man of understanding will draw it out.
  6. Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: But a faithful man who can find?
  7. The just man walketh in his integrity: His children are blessed after him.
  8. A king that sitteth in the throne of judgment Scattereth away all evil with his eyes.
  9. Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?
  10. Divers weights, and divers measures, Both of them are alike abomination to the LORD.
  11. Even a child is known by his doings, Whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.
  12. The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, The LORD hath made even both of them.
  13. Love not sleep, lest thou come to poverty; Open thine eyes, and thou shalt be satisfied with bread.
  14. It is naught, it is naught, saith the buyer: But when he is gone his way, then he boasteth.
  15. There is gold, and a multitude of rubies: But the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.
  16. Take his garment that is surety for a stranger: And take a pledge of him for a strange woman.
  17. Bread of deceit is sweet to a man; But afterwards his mouth shall be filled with gravel.
  18. Every purpose is established by counsel: And with good advice make war.
  19. He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets: Therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips.
  20. Whoso curseth his father or his mother, His lamp shall be put out in obscure darkness.
  21. An inheritance may be gotten hastily at the beginning; But the end thereof shall not be blessed.
  22. Say not thou, I will recompense evil; But wait on the LORD, and he shall save thee.
  23. Divers weights are an abomination unto the LORD; And a false balance is not good.
  24. Man’s goings are of the LORD; How can a man then understand his own way?
  25. It is a snare to the man who devoureth that which is holy, And after vows to make enquiry.
  26. A wise king scattereth the wicked, And bringeth the wheel over them.
  27. The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, Searching all the inward parts of the belly.
  28. Mercy and truth preserve the king: And his throne is upholden by mercy.
  29. The glory of young men is their strength: And the beauty of old men is the grey head.
  30. The blueness of a wound cleanseth away evil: So do stripes the inward parts of the belly.